Dramatizations of historic decisions from the courtroom of America's great Chief Justice, John Marshall.
Who determines what the Constitution means—what is and is not constitutional?
In this 1803 case the Supreme Court established its responsibility to review the constitutionality of acts of Congress. President John Adams appointed Federalist William Marbury as justice of the peace, but failed to deliver Marbury's official commission before President Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans took over the administration. Marbury asked the Supreme Court to order Jefferson's Secretary of State, James Madison, to deliver the commission. Marbury's demand precipitated a confrontation between Chief Justice Marshall and President Thomas Jefferson. The Supreme Court held that it did not have jurisdiction and declared that the law permitting the Court to hear the case was unconstitutional.
Purchase of the tape of this video was made possible through a contribution by Joseph Kulhavy.
The Committee on the Bicentennial of Independence and the Constitution
The Judicial Conference of the United States
Chief Judge Clement F. Haynsworth, Jr.
Chief Judge Edward J. Devitt
Chief Judge Howard T. Markey
Professor William Swindler, College of William and Mary
Professor Anthony Penna, Carnegie-Mellon University
Professor Robert Potter, University of Pittsburgh
Professor Richard Seeburger, University of Pittsburgh
Professor Irving Bartlett, Carnegie-Mellon University
Art Direction, Sets and Costumes
In cooperation with the drama department of Carnegie-Mellon University
Metropolitan Pittsburgh Public Broadcasting, Inc.
A <a href="http://www.archive.org/details/gov.ntis.AVA02153VNB1.guide">comprehensive teacher's guide</a> is available.